Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P548 (06-26-20)
Today’s callers asked for help in regard to marriage issues and even about how to quit smoking. A lady called on behalf of her older sister who is seeing another man. Another person asked for clarification on a passage of scripture in regards to a passage in regard to adultery and marriage in Matthew 18:8-10. A person called about clarification on a passage of scripture, in Colossians 1:21-23, that seemed to indicate you could lose your salvation, even though he knows you cannot. Then there was this question that you still her quite often today, “Is a Catholic a Christian?”
Many of the questions these callers asked can easily be answered when, first of all you have the Spirit of God living in you, and you know the difference between the old covenant of sin and death, before the cross, and the new covenant of grace, after the cross, that we are under today. So when Jesus is saying things in the gospel of Mathew, Mark, Luke or John, he is saying things to people living under an old covenant, and the new has not yet come.
Another common way people struggle in interpretation is in translation into English, particularly on the word, “if ”. For example, the word “if ” in Colossians 1:21-23 means in light of the fact that, or inasmuch as. This is really commending these people that you are free of accusation. You have been presented holy in His sight, without blemish and free of accusation. In light of the fact that you continue in the faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. It is a compliment to the people. It is the same meaning of “if ” when Jesus is in the desert and Satan tempts Jesus by saying to him, “if you are the Son of God, turn these stones into bread.”
In regard to Matthew 18:8-10, that was Jesus addressing people who lived under the law. To really understand what we are under today, and how to answer questions in regards to the unmarried and widows, you read 1 Corinthians 7. For example, it is okay for a married man, who is a believer, to let an unbelieving spouse to walk away, if he no longer wants to remain married. You are not bound in such situations. But if you are both believers, then you both have the Spirit of God living in you, and you should work it out and trust God to work a miracle in your lives. Then there are those issues where someone else is interfering with your marriage, and serious enough that warrants police involvement, to free your spouse from tyrannical situation she is in.
Now, in regard to a married person who is in sin, seeking to be involved in another man, who says she prays to God and God is blessing this, she is, quite frankly, lying. She has not got this from reading the word of God. So, the best thing to do for such a person is to tell her the truth, and call out what she is doing as sin, what God calls it, adultery. For if she does not agree with God what sin is, then how can she identify herself as a sinner? What value then would the cross mean to her? How could she repent of trusting in what she is doing for so-called life and godliness, and turn to God for His, which is true life and godliness? She has to know she is a sinner first, and that comes first by agreeing with God what sin is. Then she can appreciate what Jesus did by dying on a cross. Then she knows what real life is supposed to be and that life can only be received as a gift from God.
In regard to quitting smoking, that is really a matter of whether you want to or not. You do not have to be a believer in order to quit smoking, which is really a habit. But how much more so when you have the Spirit of God living in you. Like most habits, it is a decision of your will. After about three days, in regard to quitting smoking, those desires go away. Now, if you do not want to quit, then ask the Lord to change your will to want to. After all, Jesus said He lives in you to will and to act according to His good purposes. It is certainly not God’s will that you destroy your body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit, by putting smoke in it, which just serves to destroy your body with cancer.
Now, in regard to a Catholic being a Christian, that would be very rare, but possible. Being raised Catholic, it is being raised in a cult, being taught a false gospel of works, of the sacraments necessary for salvation, of Mary being a co-redemptrix, of the literal body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, of initial grace and actual grace, of a continual sacrifice of the mass, of oral tradition over the word of God, of the necessity of confession, and so much things contrary to the truth of the gospel. You will certainly never hear the gospel preached in a Catholic church, unless under very unusual circumstances, as in the testimony of Richard Bennett.
Can a person be saved while still a Catholic, attending a Catholic mass? I only know the testimony of two people where that was true, and they only remained in a Catholic church for a brief time, until such a time as they grew in their understanding in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Mike Gendron, a former Roman Catholic, heard a seminar on the evidence for your faith. From that seminar, he started reading the bible and was getting his mind renewed with truth. He became born again. For a few months while still a Catholic, he had a bible study in his home, where he led twelve other people to the Lord. But he soon realized that he could no longer remain in a Catholic church. He got more and more resistance by other members of the Catholic church as to what he was teaching that was contrary to Catholic teaching.
Another person I heard about was Richard Bennett, a former Roman Catholic priest. He served as a Catholic priest for thirty plus years. While reading his bible on his own, He began to ask the Lord questions that were heavy on his mind. He became born again, not by hearing a message from any man, but by God through His word. While serving as a priest, he started preaching the truth that the Holy Spirit was teaching him to his parishioners. He no longer could serve mass, for he came to understand that there is now no more sacrifice for sin. He no longer could do confessionals for that is contrary to the word of God. As you can imagine, he was met with opposition by other priests and those cardinals over him. He had to leave and seek out like-minded believers, and the priesthood, which he could no longer do, was the only means he knew of to make a living. But compelled to leave, he trusted the Lord to provide. He knew not where to go, but the Lord graciously provided.
Now, there could be believers in all kinds of religions, whether a liberal Presbyterian or even Jehovah Witness or Mormon, who like Mike or Richard, hear the message concerning Christ, in what He accomplished for you by his death, burial and resurrection from the dead, and have come to Christ to receive new spiritual life as a gift from God and became born again. During a certain window of time, being a mere infant in Christ, they have not yet grown and remain in a church that does not preach the gospel, or preaches much error, but in due time their mind is renewed and they are compelled by the Spirit to leave.
So the key point Bob makes is to ask any person what did he come to understand concerning the gospel, of what it means to be born again? Try to ask questions so as to discern what they believe. If you are a Jew, why do you go back to the day of atonement to get your sins forgiven? To a Protestant, why do you keep short accounts with God, which is common among those who interpret 1 John 1:9 out of context, and to a Catholic, why do you keep going to the confessional booth to get your sins forgiven? By asking these types of questions, you are getting them to understand what Jesus did when He cried out on the cross “it is finished”, and in Hebrews, where it speaks of a new covenant with men that He says He will remember our sins and lawless acts no more.
Then ask what the meaning of the resurrection is? So many, especially among Protestants, think that salvation is getting your sins forgiven. That is a half gospel. Salvation is being saved from the consequence of sin, which is death, by the gift of God, which is the resurrected life in Christ Jesus. Salvation is coming to receive new spiritual life, knowing that over 2000 years, before you were even born, your sins were already taken away by the shed blood of Christ Jesus. It is in Him that you have redemption, the forgiveness sins, and His imputed righteousness. A complete gospel must be understood and you must have received and believed that complete gospel in order to be born again, to have the Spirit of God living in you.
Titus from Redford, MI
Titus: I was reading scriptures while going through turmoil in my life. I was thinking about this passage.
8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
10 The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”
This all came up with all lawyers making money off of that.
Bob: Hold off a minute. I know the passages. The issue is not if you know the passages. That is not the way you live your life today. That was Christ teaching under the law, the old covenant. The old covenant was in effect until the day Christ died. Just like a will you would make today, it will not go into effect until the day you die. Now the new covenant of grace went into effect at the death of Jesus, not at his life but his death.
Titus: Is grace a license to sin?
Bob: He taught under the law and He buried us under the law, showing us that we could not live according to the law. Something spiritual had to take place in our lives.
Todd: So the law came to bring us to Christ.
Bob: You are right, there, Todd.
Titus: There was money in it. He puts her away from her husband and puts her husband away from her. He seeks to keep her into captivity and not let her go.
Bob: Is this a personal deal you are dealing with?
Bob: I thought so. You cannot get your theology from a personal deal. The issue is if you are a born again believer, then you want to know what scripture says about marriage. If you are born again believer and your wife a born again believer, then it says stick in there together. God can do miracles in your life.
Bob: I am trying to answer your question because it is tied into something. There is a difference between the old covenant and a new covenant. You do not go back to the old testament to get doctrine. That is why when the day of Pentecost occurred, that was of such significance, that as an example, the people who walked with Jesus for three years, in hiding, fearful for their lives, prior to the day of Pentecost. On the day of Pentecost, having been indwelt permanently by the life of God, were able to boldly stand up saying, “You who crucified the Son of God”. So a total change of heart took place that day. If a man was capable of living that life prior to that time, Penteocst would have been a waste of time. The new covenant is what we walk in today, under the newness of life.
Bob: In Corinthians, Paul wrote to provide instruction to the married and the widows.
1 Corinthians 7:8-9
8 Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. 9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
Bob: There you have people married and divorced or lost a spouse in death.
1 Corinthians 7:10-11
10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.
Bob: There is nothing spiritual about tearing wallpaper off the wall. That is the instruction in the new covenant. Now, if you are married, hang in there. God can perform a miracle there. Now, it says if you are married and are married to someone who is not born again, and he does not want to remain with you, let him go.
1 Corinthians 7:12-16
12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.
15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. 16 How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?
Bob: So if you follow those instructions in 1 Corinhtians 7, it will really help in regard to how we approach this divorce and separation through death under the new covenant, not under the old of the law, but the new of the grace of God.
Bob: Does that help you, brother?
Titus: In 1 Corinthians 7, is there anything said about marriage at all?
Bob: I do not think so. Women live in submission to husband and husbands love your wife. Amazingly, there is very little said about marriage in the scriptures. There is a lot said about two people walking by the Spirit of God. If they do that, then the marriage is not a problem.
Titus: Loves his wife, loves his own body, as Christ gave Himself for the church.
Bob: Absolutely. That is the way in which we should be in marriage. The issue is how do you pull that off? I have had some women and men in counseling situations. A woman says, “It sure is hard to live in submission to my husband”. I say, “You ought to trying love you as Christ loved the church”.
Titus: An employer directly keeps you apart. You are setting aside what God has put together.
Bob: Are you saying an employer is doing that, Titus?
Bob: That is a tough situation there. If you got an employer, keeping your wife away, then sooner or later you have to step in on that kind of thing. You draw a line in the sand, and say, “It is either that or here. Your employer is not your husband and I am”. That is really a spiritual problem you are going to have to deal with.
Titus: It is turning into a hostage like situation. Too much for one person to handle.
Bob: Is she a Christian, Titus?
Titus: Yes. She is born again.
Bob: And you are too?
Bob: You say a hostage situation? Is that something politically?
Bob: I do not know whether I have time to do this on radio, but we could deal with this off air. It may be you just need counsel and even legal and possibly police help.
Titus: They own the company. They own land and farms. They are really rich. Steel corporations. So rich, and I am just one person with one lamb. She is one person with a child, and in the middle of the night, door crashes open.
Bob: She is your wife, and God joined you together, and let no man separate. She is your wife and you have the right to draw a line in the sand. The line in the sand, that if you do not feel that is the place for her to work, then you are to express that, then you say, “I want you home and to find another job. Marriage in God’s sight is more important than your job. You have to take that kind of stance as the husband and man.
Titus: In Hollywood, there is witchcraft.
Bob: I would not allow my wife to be in that setting for five minutes. She would either get out of it or get out of marriage.
Titus: At gun point?
Bob: No, not at gun point.
Titus: They have gun point.
Bob: If that is the situation, you need to get law in on that. We cannot help you with that. People are dying. Get it to your police and congressman. Get it to Bill O’Reilly. Get it to somebody who will get a hold of it so it gets exposed.
Bob: I wish we could be of more help, brother.
Titus: Thank you very much. The Lord is with me and so is the church.
Bob: Absolutely, my friend. God is bigger than they are. Walk out boldly like the apostles did.
T.J. from Nashville, TN
T.J.: I got married and got closer to Lord again. I feel like I want to be baptized. I got this one big hangup, Bob. I am having a horrible time. Where do I go? What do I do? I cannot quit smoking.
Bob: T.J., you are going to have to make up your mind on that type of thing. I am speaking from experience. However, my experience was prior to being saved. I know if you can quit prior to being saved, you can quit after being saved. You have to make up your mind that you want to quit. The reason you have not quit is because you do not want to. Your prayer is to ask the Lord to change your want to. For some perverted reason, you want to smoke this thing causing cancer. You have to pray to ask the Lord to make you want to want to. Then throw those cigarettes out.
13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
Bob: How do you quit smoking? It is like asking, “How do you stop lifting your arm up?” Stop doing it. The habit is there. Let me tell you something about habits. If you resist it long enough, those cravings will go away, if you resist long enough. It is not like you have to resist the rest of your life. “Oh, you are going to be having this the rest of your life”. No, you are not. That is the lie of Satan. Quit smoking and join a health club. I strongly urge you to join a health club. In three days, you will not even want to smoke. You have to make up your mind to want to quit. And if you do not want to quit, ask the Lord to make you want to want to.
Bob: You give that a try and you get back with me, okay?
T.J.: I am going to try that, Bob. Thank you very much.
Rodney from Norcow, CA
Rodney: My question is this. I know in my heart the truth about this question but I think people are talking from their heart. I keep hearing that when it comes to Catholicism, they say a lot of people I know are Christians. They say that there are Christian Catholics. I just do not understand how they can say they are Christian Catholics. If you are practicing Catholicism, how can you be a Christian also?
Bob: There are many people that are not practicing Catholicism. They do not even know what the leadership of their church believes in. I was a Presybterian for years and years, and I had no more idea of what a Presbyterian believes than a man on the moon. I went to the Presbyterian because I liked the people. I was as lost as I could be and never heard the gospel my entire thirty six years being in Presbyterian churches. I have to assume that there are some out there that maybe the gospel was proclaimed. I just never happened to be in one. I never heard anything. I was not practicing Presbyterianism. The same thing could be in Catholicism. If you came to Christ and your understanding is that Jesus died on a cross to take away your sins and through the resurrected life, he came to give your life. You did not receive life taking a way or any other way. You got life when by faith you accepted the risen Christ into your heart as Lord and savior, that you could be born again.
Bob: Unfortunately, if you did not get into the word of God the right way, then you will probably stay where you were born again. You can sit here and say this does not make any sense but this is where my family goes. It is not a very rewarding life but you cannot say it is an impossibility. You cannot say that any more than someone sitting in a Jehovah Witness church. There is certainly a chance of it but I do not know why you would stay in it very long. How could you be a born again Christian and a Mormon? If truly born again, but the only book you put in your hand was a Mormon book, then you are not ever going to be born again, and if you are, you are not going to grow.
Bob: That is why it is so important to question people in regard to why you think you are born again and what your understanding of the gospel is. Try to get that to them. So many people say they are born again because they accepted Jesus’ forgiveness. That is a half gospel.
1 Corithians 15:1-4
1 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
Bob: When I run into people like that, the first thing I want to do is to get them to discern what they believed, if they had a thorough understanding. It is the gospel that saves and there is no half gospel. It is the death, burial and resurrection. Unless you came to Christ of all three, then how in the world are you going to be born again. I would stick with that and if a person is truly born again, then try to get them into a bible study. If they are born again, then the Holy Spirit of God will get the truth into them. Before long, they are going to say, something is wrong. This is not what I have been taught in church. It is like being in a liberal church. I was born again in every liberal church. Ultimately the whole church got saved because of coming to Christ. But in the meantime, that was the only place I had to go. The pastor would preach but was not really saying anything, but I was there. How could you be born again and be there. I was and I grew. Ultimately, I was able to lead the pastor and most of the church to the Lord.
Bob: Do not be too critical on that with people. It is a possibility but the issue is to be sure that you know what they know what being born again is.
Rodney: Okay. I appreciate your time.
Bob: You are sure welcome. God bless you.
Theresa from Fullerton, CA
Theresa: I am calling for my sister. She has been married three times. I love her very much. She is my older sister. She is unstable. She is seeing an older man. She has daily conversations with God and she is saying God is permitting this type of relationship.
Bob: Well, she is a liar, to put it bluntly. Theresa, you can say what you want to, deceived or whatever else. If a person is saying God is blessing this, they are lying. There is no way God is going to bless this. She is certainly not getting this out of the word of God. Where is she getting this? An impression. Obviously, this is what she thinks. What she thinks and what is true are two different things. She is lying in regard to where the source of your opinion is coming from? She needs to be called on that. You are lying in regard to the source. You are saying your source is God and the only source we have in regard to this is the word. There is nowhere in the word where it says He is blessing your lifestyle. Just get her back to reality. If a person does not admit where they are, and does not call sin what God calls it, how are you ever going to repent of that? We are not being helpful with people by being understanding and that kind of stuff, such as being politically correct and lenient. That is not loving to somebody if God says if you do not change your mind in regard to things and call it what it is and recognize you need salvation, how is anyone going to be saved.
Theresas: I told her about God’s love. She said, “I made a deal with God”. I told her God does not make deals.
Bob: That is good. You are on the right track, Lisa. That is exactly what needs to be done is to call a spade a spade. Trust the Lord with the results of it.
Theresa: Can you pray for my marriage, please?
Bob: I certainly will and you need to pray for it as well. If you are truly born again, and you have a marriage problem, and you know that problem better than I do, I have no hotline to God that you do not have. What I want you to do is to pray to God, and you ask God to give you direction in regard to your marriage. You know what your problems are and I do not. Be very specific with God and just lift that up to Him and trust Him with the results of it.
Lisa: I thank you. God bless you.
Bob: You too. Bye bye now.
Lenny from Warren, MI
Lenny: I attended your seminars when you were in Michigan years ago. I really enjoyed that. Every time I get on this one verse. I know that I am saved, and I know I am alive in Christ. I just cannot explain it to people.
21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation – 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
Lenny: A lot of people throw this at me and say you can lose your salvation if you do not hold onto your faith. I know they are taking one verse out but I do not know how to explain it.
Bob: That is the whole idea of interpretation. That “if” there is not saying what people think it is saying. If it is raining outside and you step out in the rain, you are going to get wet. If you stay inside you are going to stay dry. There is also the “if” that says if you are the Son of God, turn these stones into bread. That is not a question of if you really are. That is inasmuch as, because of the fact you are the Son of God then turn these stones into bread. This “if” is the inasmuch as, in light of the fact that. This is really commending these people that you are free of accusation. You have been presented holy in His sight, without blemish and free of accusation. In light of the fact that you continue in the faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. It is a compliment to the people.
Lenny: Oh, okay.
Bob: You are continuing in faith. You did not start then stop. It is established and firm, held out in this gospel, the one proclaimed to every creature under heaven and in whom, I Paul, became a servant. It is those kinds of “if”s that you have to interpret correctly. It is unfortunate but you have to go back to the structure of the Greek. It was written in order to find out what “if” it is. You can normally tell from context.
Bob: As an example, Satan tempted Jesus. If you are the Son of God, that is not a question of who He was. He knew who he was. In light of the fact that is who you are, why not do this miracle for us? That is where these kinds of “if”s have to be interpreted. That really is a compliment to people. How can you be free from accusation and then get accused of not continuing in your faith? That does not make any sense.
Lenny: Alright. Okay. I have to look at it in a different context. Oh, thank you very much.
Bob: Did that help, brother?
Lenny: Oh. It sure does. Thank you very much.
Bob: We appreciate your call, Lenny. Is everything going okay in Michigan?
Lenny: Yes. Cold as usual.
Bob: Come to Texas. It is dry, very dry.